LOS ANGELES – Ana Puente was an infant with a liver disorder when her aunt brought her illegally to the United States to seek medical care. She underwent two liver transplants at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center as a child in 1989 and a third in 1998, each paid for by the state.
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But when Puente turned 21 in June, she aged out of her state-funded health insurance and the ability to continue treatment at UCLA.
This year, her liver began failing again and she was hospitalized at County-USC Medical Center, affiliated with the University of Southern California. In her Medi-Cal application, a USC doctor wrote, “Her current clinical course is irreversible, progressive and will lead to death without another liver transplant.” The application was denied.
The county gave her medication but does not have the resources to perform transplants.
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